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Archive for May, 2009

More Greetings and some PICs from PV!!!

May 29th, 2009 at 05:19 pm

hola
Here is the view from our room at the Westin. We spent the first three days cooling off in this pool after hot days of shopping!

This is a lovely statue on the Malecon, which is located downtown along the beach. This is one of many.

The Last Supper in sand. Amazing. The statues are each much larger than normal. WOW

This is our pool at the villa. The pool was so nice an refreshing during the day and evenings. Simply amazing.

Tomorrow is our last full day here. This week has flew by. Next week I will be in southern California with my long time BFF (since we were 12)...and doing Disney on my Bday...but tonight is all about Puerto Vallarta and this amazing villa!!!!

Greetings from Vacation Friends!

May 28th, 2009 at 06:07 am

Greetings!
We are having a fabulous time here in Puerto Vallarta! This truly is one of those adventures that has been one great experience after another!
The flight here was very uneventful, just a short, 1 hour delay in LAX. Arrived to PV under an hour late. Got off the airplane to major humidity (at least for an Oregonian) filled out a form to determine if there was any risk of us bringing in the swine flu (hey, that’s kinda backwards??) Hit the button as I was told and got a red light, which meant my luggage was searched, then, off through the maze of people hoping to get us into a timeshare presentation. (holy cow) Made it through without being sidetracked and found our ride to the hotel. Whew.
The Westin was beautiful. Our room was very nice…service was great- the view, well, unbelievable! We enjoyed dinner under the stars…and slept to the sound of the ocean. Mmmm!
Day 2 was a day of exploration. We went to the marina and enjoyed a nice Italian- with a Mexican twist breakfast. I learned that the Mexican definition of hot is not the same as mine Smile but enjoyed my eggs and Serrano(?) chilis all the same. Dinner was a fabulous carnivorous feast. The restaurant where we dined served 10 different tastes of charbroiled meats, 1 at a time…bacon wrapped filet, new York, flank, turkey, chicken, etc There were had two local dogs hanging outside of the railing who enjoyed the scraps that we shared. Unfortunately, we learned that you are not safe from the timeshare pitch even at dinner. Our waiter, who was so friendly and fun, turned out to be a salesman too,and we realized that we were being pitched near the end of the dinner. We were very straightforward and polite, and he stopped, but his demeanor certainly changed. However, we did not allow that to get in the way of our fun. Took a nice leisurely stroll back to the hotel and fell into bed.
Day three we went downtown. Here is where it really started to dawn on me that this economy is suffering greatly from the recession and the flu scare. THE PLACE WAS VIRTUALLY DISERTED. Of course, this meant an even greater plea from the merchants for our business. We shopped until we were weary of everyone asking us to come inside and then pushing products until we could take no more and then headed for the Malecon, which is a wonderful boardwalk along the ocean. There was an amazing sand castle display of Mermaids, a dog, etc. Then, this FABULOUS one of the Last Supper. WOW. It was larger than lifesize. I have some great pics that I will download when I get home.
We were told to take the blue and white bus back to the marina, so we hopped on the blue and white bus, it took a long time, and this guy sitting next to me asked what hotel we were staying at…(uh oh, another salesman.so I was vague,but (thankfully)he asked more sternly a second time and so I told him and he said we were on the wrong bus. We ended up getting off in the middle of nowhere, but he assured us that another bus would come in about 20 minutes. He had gotten off at the same stop and he showed back up about 3 minutes before the right bus arrived to let us know that this was the bus we needed to take. And low and behold, 30 minutes later we were back at the hotel.
We arrived at the Villa on Tuesday afternoon and were greeted with a tour. OMG this place is unbelievably gorgeous,and some chips, homemade salsa and guacamole (Marta is an amazing cook) and icy margaritas. The rest of our groups flights arrived during the early evening and by dinner time, we had all arrived safely. We enjoy the first of many wonderful meals by Marta, then turned on the music, swam, visited, played cards until the wee hours.
Wednesday was incredible! In the morning and from our patio, we watched dolphins, stingray, eels, crabs and many other fish playing and feeding in the ocean. It was spectacular.
We went to a place called El Eden. Gramma Ray did the zip lines! OMG. I literally flew over the tops of palm trees and soared with the birds. All in all, there were 10 zips. I made it to all but two in the middle. The climb was steep and the sun was hot. I could tell my asthma was not happy. So I sat out those two and waited with a huge iguana that was sunning on a nearby rock, for the group to zip over the canyon and back to where I was. Then came the granddaddy of all the zips. 350 feet high over 1650 feet long. It was one of those experiences that will be forever ingrained. Beautiful, terrifying, and an adrenaline rush like no other all tied with a glorious bow when I landed on the other end having experienced it.
We zipped our way down the mountain and the tour was over. Then, we swam in a huge, natural pond where you can slide off a rock. I did that too, ONCE. Lol for some reason, I slid in such a way that my hind-end flew up higher than my head and I did an incredibly clumsy, spread-eagle flop into the pond all caught on camera by my ‘friends’ for future laughing pleasure Im sure. After a long, hot day that pond was Heaven.
Crossing over the rocks to get back to the taxi I managed to slip and land fairly hard on a rock – ouch. My little purse, money, passports, all were soaked. So last night, I did not sleep well. I am sure this bruise will be getting much worse before it gets better. However, it is no big deal…afterall, I SURVIVED THE ZIPLINES!!! Wa-hoo. We got home to an amazing meal of carne asada and homemade flan. Ok,nummers! Swam, watched a movie and tried to sleep with little success, finding a comfy position was too tough, so I have been up for several hours. I have watched the sun come up and enjoyed some coffee while recording these memories while they are fresh.
I have never had a vacation like this.
Ahh,hope all is well at your end!

I will try to figure out how to post some pics later!!

Hola Friends!

May 22nd, 2009 at 10:01 pm

We are off for vacation at 5am tomorrow!! So adios friends!

The hub took the job in Alaska...he leaves on June 9th..so not long after I get home.

Lots to think about while I am away.

I will try to post a few pictures while we are there...

In the meantime, blessings to all of you!!!

Huh?

May 19th, 2009 at 07:34 pm

So, the hub comes home last night and talks about his day. For such a long time, we're talking over 10 years, the hubs job has been 90% stress and frustration and 10% good days. He has worked at this company for 16 years.

It gets old.

Very Old.

So, last night he mentions that he got a job offer. My ears perk up...maybe, just maybe he will be HAPPY at work finally...it has good benefits, pays VERY WELL...and he gets 13 weeks a year vacation...

Holy COW.

The catch? It is in Alaska. He would be gone 6-8 weeks and home 2-4. (No, I wouldnt go...I love my job and would not move from the rest of the family)Hmmm...so, we are seriously considering him taking it. We have tried the semi-traditional life for the past 18 years...semi, because- while he works 40 or so a week and its local, he works nights and I work days...so we usually only see each other on weekends. This new arrangement would actually put him home for 13 weeks a year....

I said I would support it...so the ball is in his court to find out the details, etc....

wow.

I am now T minus 3 for vacation. I am so much more than ready. I am packing and getting everything ready to go. Smile

Of course, weather reports in PV for the next several days are for THUNDERSTORMS...lol...but who cares? A king size bed with a view...and NO RESPONSIBILITY...its all very, very good.

but....ALASKA? hmmm....stay tuned!

Giddy....

May 16th, 2009 at 09:24 pm

Sorry if I am driving everyone crazy with my excitement...but I am just giddy that our trip is in 6 days. Tomorrow we are going to pick up the last few things we think we need. Since the hub and I work opposite shifts, after tomorrow, we wont have any time to do this together. I ordered a travel book on Puerta Vallarta last week and got it Friday...so I have been studying the various things we can do. ALthough, I am also planning on spending lots of time enjoying the villa, the ocean and our friends.

GS (age 5) is spending the night tonight. SInce I will be gone two weeks, this is really the last time he can do this for the next 3 weeks...we are watching "Milo and Otis" and munching popcorn in the big bed. It was 90+ today, so the house is really hot. We do not have central air, so we run a small air conditioner in our room. Saves money only cooling one room... but it means we spend alot of time in here during the summer months.

DD3's (17)surgery is also sneaking up on us. She has been a different kid since we've scheduled it. I am excited for her too. We are having a buh-bye party for her prosthesis (nicknamed Bob) that she has had to wear for the last 4 years. She is looking so forward to her first summer as a young lady without it.

DD2 and I went to some garage sales today. I didnt get anything for me...but we got quite a few clothes, toys, books and shoes for under $10. We actually would have spent under $5 for everything, but one of the sales was to help a class get to DC this year, so I donated $5.
When we calculated what it would have cost for all of our finds new..(about $130) she was a convert and said she is going to start shopping for everything this way. It was pretty fun, her small town was having a town-wide garage sale, so we hit many. ( Got some great near new-name brands...Stride right, nike, osh gosh)

GS was a cheap date for dinner...he asked for apple slices from Mc Ds so he could play in their play yard...we sat for a while and watched him have fun, then came home where he rode his battery powered Jeep all over the yard (2 acres) for an hour or so ( my parents and us bought it for him for his first Christmas, so it is now 4 years old and has been all over our property with the three oldest grandbabies and still runs perfectly...seemed expensive at the time, $199, but has been WELL worth the cost for the hours of fun it has brought to the babies.)...and now, we are winding down.

Giddy grandma has had a great day!

Puter Woes...

May 12th, 2009 at 08:54 pm

I turned my work laptop in so that it could be used in a 'pool' for my staff as part of our expense cutbacks. This meant using one of the house puters in the evenings. My puters wireless card needs to be replaced, which left the hubs tiny 10 inch puter that was ridden with bugs and viruses...so I have spent the last several days tring to debug this poor thing. I seem to have gotten most of the issues off, but there is still one virus scan program that wants to take over periodically...but Ive figured out how to shut it down once it starts...so at least I can use this one for now. My SIL said he would try t replace the wireless card on mine...so I am going to let him try.

Our Mothers Day was a dream. The kids and all the grandkids came for burgers, dog and toasted marshmallows on the fire. Since we live in the country, a small campfire is allowed. It was so much fun to have them all here for the day.


And now, coming very fast, is VACATION!! 10 DAYS AWAY!!!!! woohooo!

I am getting ready to go. I am charging the camera, making sure there is plenty of storage for the pics...(2G) Getting all important paperwork together...making sure the necessities are covered...

I am so excited!!!

Life is very, very good here...

Vacation is ON!!!!

May 8th, 2009 at 09:28 pm

I am excited to report that our vacation is back on! Everyone has become less nervous about traveling to Mexico...so, two weeks from tomorrow, I am Puerto Vallarta bound!!

So, today we had a day off (I took a vacation day and the hub had a comp day)so we went shopping to buy the hub some new clothes for the trip. He bought some nice touristy-type clothes. Normally, he wears (daily- even out to dinner) logging clothes (suspenders, carhart jeans, steel toed boots, and all)...so seeing him in Dockers shorts and a tropical shirt was very different, but nice! New sandals, 4 shirts, two pair of shorts= $125

He decided to do some pre-tanning too, so we bought a small tanning package for $35...which is just enough for two weeks for a newbie.

Then, we bought two snorkeling kits from costco for $40 each..not taking any chances with recycled mouth pieces in Mexico right now...

I think we are very close to being done with all of the pre-vacation shopping now.

I would like to splurge on new haircut, perhaps that will be my Mother's Day present?!?

Sunday all the kiddos are coming here with the babies. We are going to bbq some burgers and dogs. It will be fun to have the whole gang here. (and definately less expensive than taking everyone out to eat!!)

Tomorrow, we are doing a big house cleanout and make dump run and make a big garage sale/donate pile...followed by carpet cleaning.

I love the endorphine rush of knowing we are back on track for the trip...and plan to use it to get lots done in the next couple of weeks!!!



Stressful day today

May 5th, 2009 at 08:40 pm

Today was a tough day at work. I love my job but like in any place of business, sometimes political crud rears its ugly head and today was one of those days. sigh. At my age, Ive been through this all before, it aint my first rodeo. Usually it rolls off as quickly as it hits...but somedays are just plain frustrating. argh.

Today I lunched by myself. I decided to go to a sit down place...and ended up in small, locally owned itailian bistro-type restaurant. I ordered a calzone (never had one before). It was very good. Very fresh and so tasty. $10.50 and there was plenty for a second meal. I got a window seat with a nice view. I forced myself to focus on my breathing. It is amazing how much you can relax and unwind when you are conscious of your breathing. I spent 45 minutes savoring the view, the food and the time alone. While I was enjoying myself, I heard the waitress talking to some diners about how hard the economy has hit their business. Made me glad I chose a locally owned small business to patronize.

It was after I got back from lunch that work got so crazy.

When I left work, I decided to go tan... Now that vacation may be back on the radar, I decided its time to get serious about preparing for the trip! The tanning bed was relaxing after the last half of my day. Got home, started a load of laundry and am getting everything ready to head back to work tomorrow.

I am ready for a vacation.

A glimmer of hope and other observations

May 4th, 2009 at 07:49 pm

"Maybe" is back in the same sentence as Puerto Vallarta today, so that is good news. Our most nervous Nelly co-horts are reconsidering their no's and are at least back at maybe. Smile I am not seeing a compelling reason NOT to go at this point. But we will wait one more week before making the final call.

We had one of the worst rain storms today that Ive seen in a very long time. It was very windy, rainy and dense cloud cover..wow. I needed to stop by the library after work and was soaked between the trips to and from work-car-library.

As I was in the library, you could hear the rain beating on the roof. So, I stopped and looked out the window. Boy, what a show that was!! Quite the site to watch as a real downpour took over. It was actually relaxing to stop and watch.

I then, went on to look for some books of interest. I passed a boy of about 15 who had a stack of books. At first glance, he looked like any other 15 year old...then I noticed one of the books he had in his stack...Dating for Dummies. The mom in me just wanted to hug him and tell him that life works out, be true to yourself, treat others the way you want to be treated and you'll be fine. But, I simply smiled at him and walked on.

A few minutes later, a young mother stopped next to me and sat her baby carrier down, rubbing her hand. She mentioned that her baby was heavy at just 3 months old...so I took the opportunity to admire her little one and make small talk. She rested, and then headed off to check out.

I checked out 7 books and one DVD in all...didnt spend a dime. But enjoyed a birdseye view of the storm, took some time to relax and observe, hopefully gave that new mom a mini-break in her day and sent a silent wish for peace to that young boy. All for free.

and, I have 7 books and a dvd to savor...

does it get any better than that?

Saturday Update

May 2nd, 2009 at 11:38 am

Last night, after I got my mom home from the hospital and settled in at home, I came home and collapsed (thankfully not literally!) I was so worn out, I dont think I have ever been so glad to see Friday night. So this morning, I am just relaxing. The hub had to work today, and DD3 is walking in the local March of Dimes Walk for Babies. I am playing hooky from life.

We are still in holding pattern on a vacation decision. Although my compadres are all displaying serious signs of reluctancy and change of heart...I have started to resolve that we may not be going. If we don't, I will use what money I get back (from airfare and hotel) plus the money I saved for spending, towards DD3s surgery.

My debit card expired at the end of April. While it was slightly embarrasing when I couldnt pay for lunch yesterday (the hub whipped his debit card out, so no worries)...there is good that comes from expired cards. I received an email this morning that my Netflix autopay was unable to process, so I went to my Netflix account and cancelled. I rarely watch a movie, and the email was a reminder to cancel. I have a movie on hold at the library that will suffice for my next movie craving...and then, I'll watch what's on tv. Savings: $4.99 month.

Tomorrow, the hub is playing in a golf tournament, so my goal today is housework and laundry, so that tomorrow can be just a fun day.

I worked on the budget this morning. I am happy to say that, because the kids have been repaying their loans, all of the tax money has been repaid to the CHristmas Club, Vacation fund, and emergency fund.

Well, best get the laundry going!